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Did you know that ... in earlier times among the ancient Greeks, Minerva traveled under the name Pallas Athena. Later, when Roman civilization adopted the Greek pantheon, the goddess approved her name change from Athena to Minerva.

In earlier times among the ancient Greeks, Minerva traveled under the name Pallas Athena. Later, when Roman civilization adopted the Greek pantheon, the goddess approved her name change from Athena to Minerva. Whatever she was called, the goddess of wisdom and war (and so much more!) was a beloved patroness in the classical world.

At her birth, Minerva sprung from the head of her father Jupiter (Zeus), fully grown and fully armored. She was her father's favorite child, and he allowed her alone to carry his symbol, the aegis. Her life-sustaining gift of the olive tree to the inhabitants of a Greek city inspired them to name their home after her in gratitude. She thus became the patroness of Athens, and was worshipped in her famous sanctuary, the Parthenon. Minerva was an active participant in the Trojan war as an ally of the Greeks. Paris of Troy had made the foolish mistake of choosing Venus's (Aphrodite) gift of the most beautiful woman in the world over Minerva's gift of wisdom, and so the prince earned the goddess's disdain.

While Minerva was largely benevolent towards mankind, she was no goddess to be crossed. The foolish Arachne boasted that her weaving skills excelled those of Minerva, and the goddess challenged the mortal girl to a contest. Arachne's weaving was, in fact, superior, but for her audacity, Minerva turned the girl into a spider, to forever practice her weaving on her gossamer webs.

Minerva's symbols are the olive tree and the owl

 

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